The Book of Common Prayer
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    A Melanesian English Prayer Book



1. What is your Christian name?
2. Who gave you this name?

My godfathers and godmothers in my Baptism when I was made a part of Christís body, the child of God, and one who has a share in the kingdom of Heaven.

3. What did your godfathers and godmothers then promise for you?

They promised three things in my name, first that I should turn my back on the Devil and all he does, on the tempting things that pass away in this wicked world, and on all the sinful things the body wants to do: secondly that I should believe all the different parts of christian teaching, and thirdly that I should do what God wishes and tells me to do, and follow this all the days of my life.

Do you think that you ought to do and believe as they promised for you?

Yes, truly, and by Godís help so I will, and from my heart I thank our Father in heaven that he has called me to everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray God to give me his power that I may stay so to the end of my life.


Say the Creed.

I believe  ..................


What are the chief things you learn in the Creed?

I learn to believe in God the Father who has made me and all the world, and in God the Son who has saved me and all men, and in God the Holy Spirit who makes holy both me and all the people of God, and these three are One God. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.


Your parents and godparents were told that you should learn Godís commandments. How many are there?


8. What are they?
(1) I am the Lord, your God, you shall have no other gods but me.
You shall not make for yourself the likeness of any thing, in the sky above, or in the world below, or in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor worship them.
(3) You shall not use the name of the Lord, your God, wrongly.
Remember to keep holy a Day of Rest. You shall work six days and do all that you have to do, but the seventh day is a Rest Day of the Lord, your God.
(5) Respect your father and your mother.
(6) You shall not kill.
(7) You shall not commit adultery.
(8) You shall not steal.
(9) You shall not say what is not true against other people.
(10) You shall not covet.
9. In what words did our Lord teach the Commandments?

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love every one of your people as yourself. There is no other greater than these. All the law and the words of the prophets come from these two commandments.


What are the chief things you learn in these Commandments?

I learn two things: what I ought to do for God, and what I ought to do for other people.

11. What ought you to do for God?
 I ought to believe in him and fear him and love him with all my heart and all my mind and all my soul and all my strength.
(2) I ought to worship him and give him thanks, to trust him in every way and to pray to him.
(3) I ought to honour his holy Name and his word.
(4) I ought to serve him truly all the days of my life.

What ought you to do for other people?

I ought to love other people as myself and to do to all men what I would like them to do to me.

To love, honour, and help my father and mother; to honour and obey the Queen and all who rule for her; to listen to those who look after me, my teachers in School and in the Church, and those work for; and to be humble and treat with respect those who know more than I do
To hurt nobody by what I say or do; not to hate in my heart or wish to harm anyone.
(7) To rule my body and be clean in what I think and say and do.
(8) To be true and fair in all I do.
To keep my tongue from evil speaking and lying and saying untrue things about others.
Not to want what belongs to another, but to do honest work for my food and what I need and to live as I ought to live in the place to which God shall call me.
My dear child, know this, that you are not able to do these things by yourself or to follow Godís commandments or to serve him without the power he gives you, and you must learn to give time to pray for it always. Let me hear if you can say the Lordís Prayer.

Our Father  ........................


What do you ask God for in this prayer?

I ask my Lord God, our Father in Heaven, who is the giver of all goodness, to give his power to me and to all people that we may worship him, serve him and obey him as we ought to do, and I ask God to give us all things we need for our souls and bodies, and that he will be merciful to us and forgive us our sins, and that he will save and defend us from all dangers to our souls and bodies, and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness and from the spirit who is our enemy and from everlasting death; and this I trust he will do of his kindness and goodness through our Lord Jesus Christ, and so I say Amen, this is what I wish.


How many sacraments did Christ command in his Church?

Two only which all must receive to have everlasting life: Baptism and the Holy Communion.


What do you mean by this word sacrament?

I mean something we can see which is a sign of what God does for our spirits, which we cannot see. A Sacrament is given to us by Christ himself as the way in which Godís love works in us, and as a promise that we do receive it.

17. How many parts are there in a sacrament?

Two: the sign we can see, and what God does for our spirits, which we cannot see.


What is the sign that we see in Baptism?

Water, in which the person is baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

19. What does God do for our spirits that we do not see?

We die to sin and are born again to a good life, for we are born wanting to sin but by this sacrament God gives us new life as his children.


What must people to be baptised do?

Change their hearts and turn from sin, and trust in God; so that they may steadily believe the promises of God made to them in Baptism.


Why then are babies baptised who cannot change their hearts and believe?

They promise to do both by their parents and Godparents, and when they grow older they themselves must keep this promise.


Why was the sacrament of the Holy Communion commanded?

To show forth the sacrifice on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his rising again from death and for the good things that come to us from that.


What is the sign we see in the Holy Communion?

Bread and wine, which the Lord has commanded us to to receive.


What is the part we cannot see which these are the sign of?

The Body and Blood of Christ, which those who believe truly take and receive.


What are the good things we get from these?

The Body and Blood of Christ strengthen the life of our souls as the bread and wine strengthen our bodies.


What must they do who come to the Holy Communion?

Examine themselves if they are truly sorry for the sins they have done, steadily mean to lead a new life, have a living trust in Godís kindness through Christ, remember with thanksgiving his death, and be friends with all men.



At the time told them, all those to be confirmed shall stand in order before the Bishop and he, or someone he asked to do so, shall read these words.

MY dear people in the Lord, in laying on of hands the Church follows the custom of the Apostles of Christ.For in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter eight, we read this:
  The believers who were scattered went everywhere, preaching the message. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there. The crowds paid close attention to what Philip said. They all listened to him and saw the miracles that he performed. When they believed Philipís message about the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God; so they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
    The Bible here teaches us that this gift of the Holy Spirit is. given by the laying on of hands with prayer, and as this gift comes from God alone let us who are here pray to Almighty God that he will strengthen with his Holy Spirit in Confirmation those who were made his children in Baptism.
    You who are going to be confirmed must say, before the people here, that you truly mean with the help of this gift to live your life believing in Christ and obeying Godís will and commandments.




The Bishop shall sayó

DO you here before God and these people turn your back on the devil and all he does, the things of this world that belong to him, and all the sinful things the body longs for, so that you will not follow them or let them lead you?

DO you believe all the Christian teaching of the Apostlesí Creed?

DO you promise that you will try to do Godís holy will and keep his commandments, and live in that way all the days of your life?

Answer: Yes, I do.




The Bishopó


OUR help is in the Name of the Lord; 

    Who has made heaven and earth.

Bless the Name of the Lord;

    Now and for ever and ever.

Lord hear our prayer;

    And let our cry come to you.

Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, you have freely given a new birth to these your servants by water and the Holy Spirit, and have given them forgiveness of all their sins, strengthen them, we pray you, Lord, with the Holy Spirit, the giver of strength, and day by day give them more and more your many gifts of power, a spirit that is wise and understanding, a spirit that knows what is right and is strong, a spirit that knows you and truly loves you, and fill them, Lord, with a holy fear of you, now and for ever. Amen.

∂ Then all of them kneeling in order before the Bishop, he shall lay his hands on the head of each of them sayingó 

    In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

KEEP, Lord, this your child with your grace that he may be yours for ever, and day by day be made stronger through your Holy Spirit, till he comes to your kingdom in heaven. Amen.


The Lord be with you;

    And with you.

Let us pray.

OUR FATHER in heaven, holy be your Name, your rule come, your will be done, in the world as it is in heaven.. Give us this day our food for today. Forgive us what we do wrong as we forgive those who do wrong to us. Bring us not into trouble to try us, but save us from evil. For yours is the rule and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, you make us both to will and to do those things that are good and please you, King of Heaven. We make our humble prayers to you for these your servants on whom, following the custom of your holy Apostles, we have now laid our hands, to make them sure by this sign of your mercy and loving goodness to them; let your hands Father always be over them, let your Holy Spirit always be with them, and so lead them to know and obey your word that in the end they may have everlasting life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and rules, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Then the Bishop shall bless them sayingó 

GO in peace, be brave, hold fast that which is good, give back to no man evil for evil, strengthen those who are afraid, hold up the weak, help those in trouble, honour all men, love and serve the Lord, be full of joy in the power of the Holy Spirit, 

    And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be on you and stay with you for ever. Amen.


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